Abuja: The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) on Friday gave all stations owing the commission licence fee three months to settle or conclude discussions on their payment schedule.
The Director-General of the Commission, Malam Is’haq Modibbo-kawu announced this at a news briefing at the NBC’s National Headquarters in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that NBC recently directed affected stations to settle their outstanding debts by the end of March 31 otherwise risk of being closed down.
He said over the past few weeks, many stations came forward to settle their debts to the NBC, while some others have come to discuss their payment schedule.
“ The manner that our licensees have also reacted in the past few weeks convinced us here at the NBC, that they are aware of their commitment to the Nigerian people and their obligations as licensees of NBC.
“ Therefore, all stations are given an extended period of three months from today till June 30th, 2017, to conclude discussions with the NBC on their payment plans, including a firm commitment to pay these monies within the three months,“ he said.
Modibbo-kawu said that in the meantime, the commission would issue a statement of account to all licensees and allow a reasonable time for reconciliation within the month of April.
He explained that the issuance of statements of account would be for the public-owned and private stations alike, so as to assist the publicly-owned stations to seek approvals within government system.
The DG said that opportunity would also be offered for the private stations to seek funds from financial institutions to settle their debt.
He promised that NBC would work more closely with licensees through the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) and related bodies like APCON, to assist in ensuring that monies owed by licensees are fully paid.
This, he said, would ensure that they can operate effectively to make it much easier for them to meet their licensing obligations to the NBC.
According to him, there are about 793 radio and television stations in the country that were creating jobs and offering platforms for robust engagement in democratic process.
He, therefore, expressed the commitment of the NBC to ensuring the continuous flowering of broadcast sector in the national social and communication architecture.
He, however, commended the role played by the leadership of BON, especially the Chairman, Mr John Momoh and the Executive Secretary, Mr Segun Olaleye.